Who will communicate the results of my COVID-related accommodation request to me?
Your supervisor will reach out to you directly regarding your request and to discuss possible accommodations with you. This differs from our traditional ADA process. Due to a high volume of these requests and the unique situations of each school or location, we have partnered with supervisors to work through the review and approval process for COVID-related accommodation requests only. HR Partners are providing resources to supervisors to help this process go as smoothly as possible. Traditional ADA requests will still follow our regular process flow with the Leave of Absence Team.
If approved, you will receive a formal letter from DPS outlining your accommodation and accommodation period.
We have received a significant volume of requests. As there are several unique variables in each request, it takes some time to work through each one. We are reviewing them as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience. Your supervisor will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
What if DPS can’t fulfill my accommodation request?
We will make every effort to approve accommodations, but we cannot guarantee approval. The district will prioritize requests for vulnerable individuals and those with disabilities. All DPS employees are expected to work in-building unless your accommodation request is approved. If your accommodation request is denied, you may still have the option for a Leave of Absence under the CARES Act. For complete information about Leave of Absence requests related to COVID-19, visit our COVID Accommodations and Leaves Resource page on The Commons.
What are my options if I live with/am a caretaker for a high-risk individual?
If you live with a “Vulnerable Individual” as defined by the CDC, you may be eligible for an accommodation or a Leave of Absence. Visit the COVID Related Accommodations & Leaves page to determine your options.
What are my options if I have one of the CDC's high-risk or pre-existing conditions?
In order to work remotely, you must submit an accommodation request in Employee Space. Accommodations are made on an individual level. After submitting your request, your supervisor will reach out to you directly to determine what accommodation may be available for you. Some examples include, but are not limited to, working remotely full-time, flexible schedules, or Leave of Absences.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and COVID-19 Guidelines, and/or under the governor’s current order regarding “Vulnerable Individuals,” employees may qualify for an accommodation. Individuals who could qualify for an accommodation include those who:
- Are 65 years and older
- Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- Have serious heart conditions
- Are immunocompromised
- Are pregnant women
- Are determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider
- Other individuals with a recognized disability that interferes with their ability to perform the essential functions of their job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Accommodation periods are determined by the current executive order, which expires at the end of July. Any extensions or updates to the executive order will be posted as soon as they are released. COVID-19 Leave of Absences are determined by the CARES Act and currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. For additional information, please visit thecommons.dpsk12.org/Page/2578.
What if I don't test positive for COVID but have a fever or am feeling ill?
Stay home if you are sick. You can return to work when your symptoms subside and you are fever free for three days.
I submitted my request using the Google form, do I need to resubmit it through Employee Space?
No, if you used the Google form for your request after our first communication, you do not need to resubmit your request in Employee Space. Your form has been received and we are working through the review process. You will receive next steps as soon as we are able.
What accommodations will be made for educators who are hard of hearing and rely on hearing aids/lip reading?
In this instance, you will need to follow the Traditional ADA process and work with the ADA team. You can find information on ADAs and potential accommodations by visiting the ADA page.
If I have an accommodation to teach online, will I still keep my position at my school?
Yes, teachers won’t lose their mutual consent position if they work remotely. If you are assigned to a virtual school, your primary position will remain in your current school for the 2020-21 school year.
I am a breastfeeding mother and need time and privacy to pump. How can I be accommodated with students in the classroom at lunch? And when can we go to the bathroom?
Each district building has a room for privacy to pump. To ensure you have adequate time for pumping built into your schedule, please work with your supervisor or school leader directly. You do not need to submit a request for accommodation for this need.
Schedules, including bathroom breaks, will be determined at the school level.
For DPS employees requesting remote work accommodations, how will it be decided if they will stay in their position or assigned to a different one to help with students that have selected 100% online learning?
We are still working through details of staffing models both in schools and with our virtual program. More information will be available soon.
Will my manager receive confidential details about my request?
No. Your manager will know that you asked for an accommodation, and whether it was approved as a valid medical request. However, they will not receive any details regarding your medical situation or other confidential information in your request.
Is my job in jeopardy if I make an accommodation request?
No. By requesting a COVID accommodation, your job is not in jeopardy. You are protected under the CARES Act and DPS policy. We cannot guarantee any accommodations; however, DPS is making every effort to work through all requests as quickly as possible and provide accommodations where we can.
Am I “locked-in” to an accommodation solution?
No. Where possible, DPS will offer accommodations. You will have the ability to accept or deny your specific accommodation proposal. You will be involved in making the decisions for your accommodation and DPS will make every effort possible to offer an accommodation that suits your situation.
If your needs for accommodation change during your accommodation period, please contact your supervisor to discuss those changes and determine if changes are possible at that time. We cannot guarantee that changes to your accommodation will be available.
If my supervisor has said our whole team is staying remote, do I still need to submit an accommodation request?
No, in this case, you do not need to submit an accommodation request. You would only need to submit a request if your supervisor informs you of a return to work schedule and you still need accommodations.
What about those team members who prefer to work remotely and do not necessarily meet the criteria for an accommodation?
There may be flexibility within your role, department or school. To determine if you can volunteer for a virtual role, please work with your supervisor or school leader directly. The Leave of Absence and Accommodations teams cannot assist with options that do not meet the criteria for an accommodation or leave.
Will central office staff still be working from home once school begins?
We are currently working on a plan for central office, though our planning priority is for schools. The district leadership team returned to Emily Griffith Campus on July 13.